hike to anse major

10 Jun

we were all amped up for our beach walk this morning until we met with our guide and the first question out of his mouth was our fitness level. we realized were were dressed totally inappropriately for actual hiking and made a mad dash back to our room for a quick change.

the hilton shuttle drove us past beau vallon and dropped us off at a hiking trail that took us to a beautiful, quiet beach about a two hour hike away. our first stop of the morning was to a seychellois’ house and her pet bat. there are a lot of bats in seychelles and bat curry is a local delicacy. we never had the nerve to try it but this little guy was surprisingly friendly and was taken in as a pet because he could not fly.

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we hiked on through the trail and our guide, hubert, stopped a few times to let us catch our breath and take in the scenery.

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hubert pointed out wild vanilla, cashew, and pineapple

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we had a great view of silhouette and north island. hubert told us that north island was one of the most beautiful in seychelles and where prince william and kate honeymooned last year. so close.

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we were on the hike with another couple from romania. we talked a lot about the different policies and traveling. we ended up hanging out with them a few more times after the hike as well. 

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from the top of the mountain we could see anse major in the distance. with a steep ten minute decent we finally made it to the beach.

liberation day

5 Jun

also known as the day my flip flop died. stupid havianas. and even stupider that I have to buy another pair at the gift shop for double because I don’t have another pair I can wear on the beach.

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yesterday morning we took the ferry back to our hotel on mahe. ANOTHER rough set of seas (although MUCH better than the silhouette cruise). see a repeating theme here? the hilton had our room ready early and joked with us about extending our stay at labriz. nice folks here.

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in the morning we hung out by the pool and then took a ferry into beau vallon for lunch. we ate at a pizza place called baobab pizzeria that had sandy beach floors and was just off the water.

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I tried their house special, shrimp pizza. one of the best pizzas of my life. they literally poured butter on top. even paula deen would approve.

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we had a few hours to walk around the beach at beau vallon so we walked in a few stores (stocked up on mixers and sparkling wine) and watched the locals enjoy their liberation day. it’s equivalent to our fourth of july.

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we dodged a few waves as the tide came in and then caught the shuttle back to the hotel to relax and have a drink before dinner.

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we decided on three different restaurants before we finally were able to make reservations at the boathouse, a creole buffet in beau vallon.

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they were pretty dang busy when we arrived so poor alex didn’t even get a chair.

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ha. kidding. he eventually got a chair. and it was surprisingly good and since it was a buffet it was on our own time. our taxi driver event commented that it was a quick dinner and we were there an hour and a half. this morning we’re off to a beach you can only get to by foot and then afternoon tea and a massage.

oh, and get excited little alex, we’re on our way to praslin and la digue tomorrow so we’re get more pictures of the giant tortoises. fun fact: I’m pretty sure I’m a tortoise whisperer because when I talk to the turtles they wake up and check me out. yep. it’s not that they’re hungry.

choppy and cheap (not alex)

5 Jun

ha. alex came up with that one. and that’s why I married him.

the sun sets each night around 6 and when the sun hits the sea everything is dark immediately. it’s pretty amazing. we thought a sunset cruise would be the perfect way to get to the west side of the island (the resort was on the east) and there was talk of sparkling wine. they call everything but actual champagne sparking wine. crazy kids.

while we were waiting for our “buggy” aka golf cart, we saw a couple heading out for their wedding in this lovely vehicle.

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I told alex I was mad that our wedding golf cart did not have hundreds of hand strewn flowers all over it. gah.

after a short delay we took off. the island looks very much the same from both sides.

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it was a pretty rough day at sea and since almost everyone else was seasick we got all the sparkling wine to ourselves. score team butler! this is also the first trip where I decided that I only like sailing on catamarans. big ones. and cruise ships.

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after the cruise we found this little guy welcoming us to our room. that’s crab picture two for those of you keeping count.

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for dinner we ate at Gran Kaz which is a Creole restaurant housed in the plantation house of the original owners of the island, the Danube family. Like Mauritius, they call use the word Creole to signify the mix of cultures and curry dishes are very common.

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this is also the point where we realized they booked us on half board. this basically means that your dinner is included in your room fare. so we paid way too much for our hibachi and only about $35 for a drinks, water, and upcharges at Gran Kaz. Dang, right?

we’re also getting practice with our patience. they are most certainly on their time at every restaurant. then our golf cart died and we enjoyed a leisurely stroll back to our room and crashed.

morning hike

5 Jun

for andrew: hilton breakfast buffet and a few more grounds photos

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alex thinks i’m weird for posting direct messages but i know my travel aficionado buddies appreciate a good breakfast buffet photo.

we woke up early for what was dubbed as a two hour hike to the beach. we had a feeling we found the trail to the beach when we were biking and we knew that it would be tough. our tour guide walked us through the “woods” telling us about the different trees that we passed (mango, papaya, breadfruit) and about the giant granite mountains.

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we walked through three beaches on our way to Anse Potate. Yeah, that translates to Potato Beach. these little crabs were all over the place. we told him about the game that we play where we draw a circle and have the crabs race out. i think we started a new trend.

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the hike was pretty long and rocky – it took us about 2 hours just to Anse Potate. This lovely rocky area was where I slipped and promptly landed on my hip. I’m now sporting a large purple bruise. it’s all the rage here in Seychelles.

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we were whopped after our morning so we decided to spend a few hours resting on the  beach. we had an impromptu photo shoot and then decided we were ravenous from our morning activities and headed out for lunch. there’s a little pizzeria place that has great chicken tikka and margherita pizzas.

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we loved the labriz so much that we asked to extend our trip for another night and they kindly obliged. we were psyched so we booked ourselves on a cruise around the island and chose our dinner spot.

hilton labriz

3 Jun

after breakfast and mini-grounds tour yesterday we took a ferry over to silhouette island. while it’s the third largest (something about 6 kilometers) there are only 100 inhabitants.

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I need a bumper-sticker  that says “I break for crabs” there is a crab and a sea cucumber in this picture. where’s waldo?

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goodbye mahe!

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hello silhouette!

we got a mini tour of the village on our way to our hotel where they had a school, restored plantation house, and community center. the labriz is a true resort with a lot of amenities and restaurants but not fully occupied.

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as soon as we got in we threw on our suits and headed to the beach. we walked all 10 ft from our villa to the ocean and spent the morning laying out and wading in the water. the ocean was a bit rough yesterday and the tide rose pretty quickly so we grabbed a bite to eat by the pool then tried the beach again.

Labriz Room/Beach Tour

 

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the coke light’s are imported for UAE. I think I am going to start a collection of international diet coke photo’s. I feel like that’s acceptable art.

then we got restless and hopped on bikes to explore a bit of the island. we found the giant tortoises (this is only one of two places in the world that they live in the wild. the galapagos is on my other 1000 places to travel list).

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alex asked me about 50 times if I like bike riding (he’s trying to get me to buy a bike) and assured him I did – because there are no cars here. you don’t hear a lot about bike/golf cart accidents. Smile

 

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it was a pretty tough trail when we ventured off the resort but there were some great views. we made dinner reservations at the tepanyaki restaurants (aka hibachi) and had a lovely, albeit overpriced, dinner.

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we’re off this morning (monday) to the breakfast buffet and then on a two hour hike.

Hilton (Northolme) Mahe Grounds

3 Jun

Posted by Alex

This is a little tour around the Hilton Northholme on the island of Mahe.  Just outside our room and up a small flight of stairs is the infinity pool.  It is not very large but there are only 40 rooms at the resort so it is never crowded.  The pool has lots of sunning space and and different towel animals each day.

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Down a flight of stairs from the pool is the spa which sits out on its own mini bluff.  To the left is a hammock in a great spot and the gym with a crazy awesome view. 

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Back up the stairs and you get to the bar with ocean view tables and the path down to the “beach” which is about 50 yards wide.

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Other than a nicer very small restaurant and a larger buffet-style restaurant  there isn’t a whole lot to this place but its quiet and beautiful and perfect.

Here are some more shots of the great deck facing the ocean form our villa – so many seating options!!

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our hotel in seychelles

2 Jun

that rhymes btw.

 

after our 2 1/2 hour flight north to the seychelles (where we were served dinner, really. and in-flight entertainment. a 2 1/2 hour flight. take that delta) we landed about 7:45 and were at our hotel within an hour.

 

it was very dark when we got in so we couldn’t see a lot of the landscape but instantly knew we would love our room.

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floor to ceiling wood. and can we talk about this bathroom? I die. I took the best bubble bath of my life last night.

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yesterday (Saturday) was extremely lazy. I took two naps and we walked around the resort a few times. we’re still fighting off the jet lag and finally feel ok this morning. as we were eating lunch we caught a rainbow over the bay. we’d never seen a rainbow in the ocean so that was a pretty sweet sight to catch.

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there were a good many people laying on the shaded beach and snorkeling so we walked down and decided to feel the water temp. alex immediately pointed out a small (3 feet) shark. I told alex I didn’t like clear water anymore and I probably was not going to go snorkeling. a barracuda AND a shark? what’s next? jellyfish?

when we woke up from a second nap we found a note under our door offering us the opportunity to stay at the hotel’s sister resort on Silhouette Island. Originally, we wanted to stay 4 nights at Northolme and 3 at the Labriz on Silhouette but the awards option was not available. We hopped on the opportunity (not to mention they waved the $200 euro boat transfer fee) and we will catch the ferry in a few hours.  The Labriz is a lot larger (over 100 rooms vs.  our 40) but it’s a completely private island with giant tortoises and a huge beach.

we woke up super early this morning and enjoyed coffee on our deck and watched the tide slowly come in.

 

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we’re headed off now for a yummy buffet breakfast (best pastries ever, I love that about the French) and on to Silhouette for the day/night.